"Before Deathgasm, whenever movies needed a bully, they put them in an Anthrax t-shirt": One of the best heavy metal movies ever is getting a sequel, and it's going to be even more bloody, messy... and metal (of course)

Deathgasm 2
(Image credit: Press)

A splatter comedy fuelled by heavy metal, 2015’s Deathgasm was an unexpected runaway success. The independent film followed a teenage band who accidentally summon evil via ancient sheet music – with exceptionally messy consequences. But as writer/director Jason Howden tells Metal Hammer today, “I never aspired to make a hit movie – or even a particularly good movie! Ha ha!” 

Jason’s vision was fuelled not by dreams of cinematic grandeur, red carpets or glitzy awards shows, but by a lust for the gritty, rebellious essence of low-budget filmmaking. 

“I wanted my own war stories!” exclaims the New Zealander, reflecting on his inspirations like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Evil Dead. However, destiny had big plans, and Deathgasm shot to underground fame, resonating powerfully with metalheads and horror enthusiasts alike – a testament to taking unhinged creative risks. 

At the film’s 2015 premiere at the South By Southwest festival, in Austin, Texas, Jason found himself an unlikely celebrity. “I remember being in Austin and a couple of people were like, ‘Dude, you’re the Deathgasm director!’ It hadn’t even been released yet. It was really weird to have people come up and congratulate me and talk about the film and say they were fans.” 

The 2023 announcement that a Deathgasm sequel is now in the works has the metal community ablaze with anticipation. Deathgasm 2: Goremageddon picks up where the original left off – which presents some creative plotting, considering the original ended with (and if you don’t want spoilers, read no further) most of the characters dying in a demonic apocalypse. 

Jason has it all sussed out, however, teasing, “The problem with Brodie [the film’s protagonist] is that his ex-bandmates are dead. But he still has these magic pages [the sheet music from the original], and some passages in those pages do different things. In the sequel, he finds there’s a passage that can raise the dead!” 

Deathgasm revolutionised the portrayal of metalheads in cinema. Jason, a lifelong headbanger and connoisseur of old-school death metal, sought to dismantle the tired trope of metal fans as the quintessential bad guys. He explains, “Before Deathgasm, there were so many movies where, whenever they needed a generic bully, they put them in a jean vest or an Anthrax t-shirt and the audience would be like, ‘Oh, he’s a bad guy because he listens to metal.’” 

Deathgasm flipped this narrative, showcasing metalheads as the unlikely heroes – similar to Eddie Munson from Stranger Things, several years later – challenging the stigma and offering a new perspective. Off-camera, Jason has enlisted some serious firepower for the sequel, which will feature a soundtrack composed by Matt Heafy of Trivium

Matt, who was deeply impacted by the original film, eagerly joined the project, excited to contribute to a franchise that he feels breathes fresh life into the horror genre. 

“I was obsessed with the movie,” Matt tells Metal Hammer. “It blew my mind! Since then, I’ve befriended Jason. I kept telling him, ‘If there’s ever space for me or if you need a composer to do the next film, think about me.’ Lo and behold, this is where we’re at.” 

“Matt took me backstage at one of Trivium’s shows in Melbourne, Australia, and we had some beers, recalls Jason. “He was really supportive and when he heard that we were doing the sequel. He was just like, ‘Dude, I’m doing this.’”

For Matt, working on Deathgasm 2 is the realisation of a long-held ambition, one that began with his childhood love for videogames and cinema. After scoring two videogames to date, with scores for both a third game and a second film in the works, he sees Deathgasm 2 as an opportunity to weave multiple styles – including metal, obviously – into the narrative fabric of cinema. 

“I hope to do a lot more because I grew up with film,” he says. “I love it so much and I feel like a good soundtrack can absolutely make a movie and a bad soundtrack can absolutely ruin a movie. I sent some crazy ideas to Jason. It will be surprising to see if they happen or not, but some really cool stuff.” 

“I’m really excited about Matt’s enthusiasm and the drive that he has!” Jason says. “I’m so jealous because he is one of those people who is so charismatic and just so good with people. He’s just amazing to work with.” 

Against all odds, predictions and algorithms, Deathgasm exploded as a cultural juggernaut, bleeding beyond the screen into a vivid tapestry of iconic memes, tattoos, Halloween costumes and a joyfully rabid fanbase. Jason, now ensconced in his New Zealand home, marvels at this global frenzy as he looks forward to starting filming in February. 

This isn’t just cinema; it’s a blood-spattered, riff-powered cultural rebellion, a raucous bridge between darkened theatres and surging moshpits. With Deathgasm 2: Goremageddon thundering on the horizon, armed with more gore, knee-buckling humour and Matt Heafy’s sonic alchemy, fans have every reason to be excited, even if the movie’s release is still a while off yet.

To support Deathgasm 2: Goremageddon and get updates, visit the official Kickstarter

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.